Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #21

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is books I liked more/less than I thought I would.  Of course it was really easy to think of books I liked less, so that half of the list is longer.

Top Ten Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would


  • Nerilka's Story by Anne McCaffrey  -  I love Anne McCaffrey and her Dragonriders of Pern series, but this book was terrible, not only as a Pern novel but also as a story in general.  The characters and the romance were awful.  It just sucked overall.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes  -  I picked up this book because I loved the movie, and the movie's so much better.  The book is boring, and the Polish workers who provided so much humor are a small chapter in an otherwise drab book.  I didn't even bother to finish it.  If I had to read about them finding one more well on the property, I was going to cry tears of boredom.
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes  -  The premise sounded interesting; they were calling it Game of Thrones for teens.  And that's pretty much what it was - a watered-down copycat trying to ride the coattails of the HBO series' success.  Plus the wooden characters, mediocre writing, and cliches didn't help either.
  • Pure by Julianna Baggott  -  I really wanted to like this book.  The characters were good, and the story was interesting, but it was just too... icky.  I don't like things that are gross or gruesome (like zombies, for example), and this book just had too much of it for me to stomach.  If you're reading a book, and your main reaction is that you feel like you're going to be sick, it's not the right book for you.
  • The Dragon Princess by E.D. Baker  -  I loved most of Baker's Frog Princess series, so this book was a disappointment.  The characters are too annoying to like, and the constant recapping of all the previous books/storylines drove me nuts.  I know what happened in the last book; you don't have to tell the whole story over again.
  • That Summer in Sicily by Marlena de Blasi  -  De Blasi's other memoirs and travelogues are beautiful, sometimes romantic, and well-written.   This book was just terrible.  It had nothing to do with her travels in Sicily or with her at all.  The book was just de Blasi recounting someone else's (uninteresting) life story as she heard it when she was in Sicily.
  • House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones  -  It is so hard to admit this, but yes, there is a Diana Wynne Jones book that I didn't love.  The main character is frustrating, and the story itself is only so-so.  I loved all the other books from this series, but this one just didn't live up to what I've come to expect from Jones' work.
  • The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer  -  When I read the description for this book, it didn't catch my interest.  It sounded silly and nothing like Heyer's usual work.  But this book is epic!  The dialogue is some of her best and wittiest.  The characters and the story are amazing and hilarious.  I couldn't stop laughing out loud while reading it.
  • Austenland by Shannon Hale  -  Chick-lit and I do not usually get along, so I was very skeptical about this book.  But since it involved Jane Austen, and I love all things Austen, I decided to try it out anyway.  I'm so glad I did.  I'm in love with everything about this book - the romance, the characters, the setting, the story.  I just want to get swept off to Austenland and fall in love with my own Mr. Nobley.  **Sigh**
  • Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale  -  When I heard Hale was writing a sequel to Austenland, I grabbed it as soon as it was released.  But when I read the blurb, I thought it sounded nothing like the first book.  In fact, I didn't think it sounded good at all, so I put off reading it for months.  Then I read it last week, and it's so good.  It really is nothing like the original; it's an outrageously comical murder-mystery.  It's not meant to be taken seriously; it's just so over-the-top and ridiculous.  The romance is sweet too, and the villain was not who I expected it to be.  But it was really the humor and the craziness that made me love this book.

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